Let it be known that I, EvanTheMayor, up until last night had never seen a single episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic and having since seen a few here and there (3 hours worth) I can say without question I will never be, ever be, a Brony. I can see the appeal of the show to children of all ages (more on that in a second) and have my theories as to how Bronies became a “thing” (which are all adequately described elsewhere) – which boils down to “a direct response to the aggressive pushback of being a fan of something “you’re not supposed to be a fan of”” – and while I will unendingly observe biologically adult people dressed as ponies with a smirking hilarity, I’ve got a few things to say about it. But first.
My Little Pony, having aforementionedly seen several episodes, is not the same show as from the 1980s. It’s for kids, no doubt, but so is/was Powerpuff Girls and Power Rangers and I watched those shows well into my late teens. In fact, seeing as how the show is created by someone on the Powerpuff Girls team, the show has a very familiar feel to it. Cutesy, with a bit of more mature humor thrown in, but deliberately cutesy with an overarching theme of friendship and cooperation which is literally driven home every single episode. It’s laden – weighted down even – with positive messages. It’s actually a much better show for kids than Wa Wa Wubbzy or similarly mindless dogshit. And that core of positive messages, cute shit all over the place and magical happiness is what the fans – the Bronies – seem to embrace. That and the art styling. In one week Otakon comes to town and the crowd attending that convention will differ almost nil from Bronies in appearance, demeanor and awkwardness – in other words, it’s all the same.
It’s all the same.
People instantly assume that Bronies are a) pedophiles b) horse fuckers c) gay pedophile horse fuckers for liking a show “for little girls” but as I’m reiterating right now it’s not much different than being an “adult” (most of them appear to be under 19 years of age) fan of Powerpuff Girls, Pokemon, Rainbow Bright, Harry Potter, or any other thing in this world that can be sexualized by weirdos on the Internet. The same is true for My Little Pony, unfortunately, and like most things on the Internet the true weirdos who are jerking off to pictures of ponies are the main focus of the rest of the world. But at Bronycon, I didn’t see folks dressed as ponies shagging in a corner; it was just a bunch of awkward teens in Fedoras, little tiny children, and a mixture of dudes and chicks mostly aging out at about 30 if that.
So while folks get uncomfortable about the thought of liking a show for little girls because they make some sort of sexual connection, it seems to me that with these guys, it’s pretty asexual. Try thinking of My Little Pony as a show for kids of all ages. Does that ease the pain? Yeah, me neither.
Getting back to the personality profile of your typical Otakon/Comicon/Bronycon goer, there’s definitely some kind personality profile at work. They’re actually being voluntarily studied by psychologists and it turns out a great deal of them are INTJ (Introverted, Intuition, Thinking, Judgement) which account for 1-3% of the population, and roughly 30% of Bronies studied (these number may change once I speak with the folks who conducted the study, yes I know Briggs Meyers is bullshit and blah blah blah but there’s definitely a profile to these people and whatever the name is, INTJ is the closest descriptor). Can of worms topic tends to be that INTJ has a link to highly functioning autism / Asperger’s, but I’ll leave that for the Internet to decide on its own. At any rate, a lot of Bronies are excruciatingly awkward and obviously the extremely positive nature of My Little Pony is giving them an avenue to express themselves. As with Chibi Anime, or any other cutesy animated crap out there. It makes them really happy and you really can feel the enthusiasm in the air while observing these happy (fragrant) people making connections with each other left and right. I can’t really knock on that (oh but I will knock on the costumes, be ready for that soon).
In short, for now, look at the Bronies and have a giggle at their expense but realize what they’re doing brings them a lot of joy.
Now I will proceed to have many, many giggles at their expense.